It said that the women who reported sexual activity weekly had 28 percent fewer chances of reaching early menopause. The women were grouped based on whether they typically engage in sexual activity weekly, monthly, or less than monthly.
In evolutionary terms the scientists say that it would not be beneficial for the body to invest in ovulation when, due to the lack of sexual activity, it is unlikely to pay off with pregnancy.
The study began with a look at approximately 3,000 women - 46% were peri-menopausal, meaning they had some symptoms, and 54% were pre-menopausal, meaning they had no symptoms.
Wu also pointed out that, according to the study, "sexual activity associated with later menopause also encompasses oral sex, fondling, and masturbation", and she added that "even women without a partner can reap the benefits of later menopause". During the 10-year study period, 45 percent of women had experienced a natural menopause at an average age of 52.
Middle-aged women who romp weekly are 28 per cent less likely to experience the change over the next decade.
"Doctors have long known that there were many benefits from continued sexual activity", said Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Ms Arnot said their findings support the Grandmother Hypothesis, which allows mothers to have more children. The almost 3,000 women in the data set had an average age of 45 when the study started, had two children on average, and were mostly married or in a relationship or living with their partner.
And those who still have sex at least once a month have a 19 per cent reduced risk.
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The researchers controlled for characteristics including oestrogen level, education, BMI, race, smoking habits, age at first occurrence of menstruation, age at first interview and overall health.
Though of course there is no behavioural or medical intervention that can delay the menopause completely - it is a biological inevitability at some point for all women.
The authors also tested whether living with a male partner - and being exposed to male pheromones - delayed menopause. The researchers found no correlation, regardless of whether the male was present in the household or not.
The research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.
Arnot, M., Mace, R. She's a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at University College London. Scientists collected data from the 2,936 women, whose average age was 45, who took part in a U.S. study of women's health in 1996-97.
We have a progressive and integrated approach to our teaching and research - championing innovation, creativity and cross-disciplinary working. In fact, they said "there is no conclusive evidence either that humans produce pheromones, or that they are capable of detecting them".
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